Good morning! I feel this is safe post to put out there now we are steadily creeping towards Christmas (don’t pretend you don’t love it) :-) Last week I mentioned that I spent a glorious Sunday morning at the ‘Tea and Crafting’ studio in Camden, alongside the lovely Elsie from ‘Ragged Life’, who gave me an introduction to ‘rag rugging’, and got me started on a lovely Christmas wreath that I am in the process of making. Well, Elsie has been very kind, and has agreed to show how you actually go about making one of these bad boys. They would look amazing on your front door this Christmas!
Before you begin, please check out Elsie’s equipment check list, so you know you’ve got what you need:
Step 1: Draw a ring on the hessian:
Take a piece of hessian and, using a thick clearly visible pen, draw a ring the size and shape of the wreath you would like to create. For a large wreath Elsie recommends an outside ring diameter of 33cm and an inside ring diameter of 19cm, and for a small wreath we like to use a 28cm outside ring diameter and 16cm inside diameter. However you can make the wreath as big or as small as you’d like!
Step 2: Hem the hessian:
Using a sewing machine or overlocker, hem the hessian about 3cm from the outside circle of the wreath and approximately 3cm within the inside circle of the wreath. Then cut around the outside of the hem to remove the excess hessian (being careful not to cut any stitches).
When hemming hessian, you will need to use a stitch that holds both the horizontal and vertical strands or your base will unravel (and nobody wants that!):
Step 3: Decide on a design:
This is the nice part – choosing what design you fancy for your wreath. If you’re looking to make a traditional style wreath then Elsie recommends drawing five circles in the middle of the ring, equidistant from each other. These will become five stunning flowers:
Step 4: It’s Time to Rag Rug!
At this stage you may want to remind yourself how to do shaggy rag rug as there’ll be a fair bit to do. You can see Elsie’s easy to follow video here:
And now it’s time to get started! If you’re doing a traditional style christmas wreath then she finds the best way to get started is to begin in the centre of the “flowers” and work your way out. Here Elsie’s used gold toffee wrappers as the centre of her “flowers”:
Keep rag rugging between the blue lines and this is what the front will look like:
And the back…
Step 5: Create a Base for your Wreath:
Find a piece of sturdy cardboard or foam board and cut out a ring the same size as your initial wreath ring:
Step 6: Attach your wreath to the backing:
Position your wreath with the underneath facing upwards. Align your cardboard / foam ring with the rag rugged part of the wreath.
Next, fold the hessian border back over the cardboard ring and staple gun down to secure. You will have to concertina it slightly.
Continue around the outside of the ring until it looks like below:
Step 7: Secure the inside of the wreath:
Once the outside of the wreath is firmly connected to the backing board then cut a circle inside the inner hemming of the ring so it looks like below:
Next make slight cuts in the hessian, making sure not to cut too close to the rag rugged part.
And now use the staple gun to secure the inside hem to the cardboard base.
Eventually the back will look like this:
And hooray, the front will look this!
Step 8: Add a Loop for Easy Hanging:
A minor point but it’s really handy to add a loop to your wreath to make it easier to hang. Elsie does this by plaiting hessian strands and stapling the plait in a loop shape to the back of the wreath like below. You can use twine, ribbon or something more decorative as well!
Step 9: Tidy Up the Back of the Wreath (optional)
If you’re planning to give the wreath as a present or you just like things to be neat then at this stage it may be a good idea to tidy up the back of your wreath. To do this Elsie cuts a ring of felt to the size of the wreath (you can do this by drawing around it) and glue the felt to the back of the wreath with a glue gun. Below is what this looks like:
And to end, here’s what your final wreath should look like – Ta-da!
I am praying that mine will end up looking as good as Elsie’s when I’ve finished- I’m sure I’ll bore the tits off you posting updates on Instagram et al though, so you’ll be able to see for yourselves! ;-)
Hopefully some of you will be inspired to give this ace craft a go, it really is so relaxing, and very sociable if you get a little rag-rugging crew of you together!
If you want to know more about rag-rugging, check out the fab Ragged Life website http://www.ragged-life.com
Linking up with Let’s Talk Mommy and Share With Me!